Scientific Method History

Who Invented the Scientific Method? Who Discovered the Scientific Method?

No one person can be credited as the inventor of the scientific method. It was really not “invented” but recognized and developed as the natural method of obtaining reliable knowledge.

History of the Scientific Method

Many authors trace the beginning of the scientific method and experimenting back to ancient artisans, Greeks, Arabs, Spaniards, and others.

Aristotle Scientific Method

Aristotle (384–322 BCE) was one of history’s noted original thinkers, first for devising methods for trying to arrive at reliable knowledge based on observation.

Bacon Scientific Method – Who Came up with the Scientific Method?

Roger Bacon (1214–1294), drawing on the writings of Muslim scientists, described a repeating cycle of observation, hypothesis, experimentation, and verification.

Galileo Scientific Method – Father of the Scientific Method

In our modern culture, Galileo (1564–1642) is generally credited with being the father of the scientific method. The Encyclopedia Britannica (1970) says:

“Even while Bacon was philosophizing, the true method was being practiced by Galileo, who, with a combination of observation, hypothesis, mathematical deduction and confirmatory experiment founded the science of dynamics.
Francis Bacon Scientific Method

Bacon is famous for explaining his method in Novum Organum, published in 1622. He is very widely mentioned in the literature for his contribution to the scientific method.

Descartes Scientific Method

Descartes’ 1637 treatise Discourse on Method is well-known and was also a contribution to the development of the scientific method.


Originally the scientific method was called the experimental method and the method of science. When the word scientific was devised in the 19th century, the most widespread term applied to the method became the scientific method or scientific method.

Development of the Scientific Method

Following the above developers of the scientific method, many philosophers, scientists, psychologists, and others have contributed to the development of a theory of the scientific method as we know it today. Some of these are:

Karl Gauss
David Hume
John Locke
Ernst Mach
John Dewey
Humphry Davy
Isaac Newton
Robert Boyle
Abraham Wolf
Morris Cohen
Karl Pearson
William James
Gregor Mendel
John Herschel
Immanuel Kant
William Wells
Charles Darwin
Claude Bernard
William Jevons
Charles Pierce
William Jevons
William Harvey
Michael Faraday
William Whewell
Johannes Kepler
Albert Einstein
Henry Armstrong
John Stuart Mill
Joseph Priestley
Bertrand Russell
Benjamin Franklin
Antoine Lavoisier
Joseph Gay-Lussac
Ernest Rutherford
James Clerk Maxwell
Albert North Whitehead

Modern Development of the Scientific Method of Historical Importance

For several centuries, authors have offered thousands of model formulas for the scientific method. Many are good, but they usually have been condensed. Through a quirk of fate, no one had ever studied most of them. I started to do this in 1989, and it wasn’t until 1997 that I finally arrived at what is the new scientific method model formula (SM-14).

Nothing in it is new or original. It is simply the best model assembled from the basic features of the scientific method mentioned in the literature by our academic communities over the centuries. My research was complete enough that it is suitable for a standard for teaching purposes. It is not copyrighted or trademarked and may be freely used.

SM-14 stands for scientific method with 11 steps or stages and 3 ingredients. It is the complete method of problem solving and decision making. This is the best formula for the scientific method ever presented.

Scientific Method Worksheet for the New Scientific Method Model Formula

A two-page worksheet for SM-14 is provided near the end of this booklet and as a PDF file. It is a universal form for all domains. This guide or worksheet should be used whenever you are applying the scientific method to a problem or decision. In this age of technology growth and ever increasing complexity, a reminder worksheet can keep you on the right course.

Coming next . . . Two pages of basic principles and guidance are provided for each of the 11 steps or stages and for the three supporting ingredients. This is the best description and guidance available anywhere today. Be smart and use it, for you should remember that the scientific method is the complete method of creative problem solving and decision making for all fields.